If venues make a regatta, then competitors in September’s Bosphorus Cup are in store for a treat.
Based out of Setur Kalamış Fenerbahçe Marina, this year’s 22nd edition will have its usual four day format, taking place over 21-24 September. Event organiser Orhan Gorbon anticipates around 80 yachts will be on the start line. These will be divided into IRC classes, which represent the majority, plus others for ORC, sportsboat and cruising.
The top three boats in each class will receive an award, while the perpetual Bosphoris Cup Grand Overall Trophy will go to the best scoring yacht with an IRC Endorsed certificate in IRC 0, 1 or 2. Other trophies will be awarded to the top Sportsboat and ORC finishers.
The event begins with an on-line skipper’s briefing held on the evening of Wednesday 20 September, followed on Thursday 21 September by a windward-leeward practice race off Caddebostan, roughly five miles south of central Istanbul, just into the Sea of Marmara.
The three official days of racing over 22-24 September will comprise windward-leewards held off Caddebostan-Kalamis on the Friday and Sunday with the event’s famous race around the Bosphorus scheduled for the Saturday.
Highlight of the event, the Bosphorus Race is set within the confines of the Bosphorus itself, thanks to special permission granted to the event by the local authorities, who uniquely close this major maritime thoroughfare for the duration of the race.
While the majority of entries in the Bosphorus Cup are Turkish, others herald from countries bordering the Black Sea and the organisers are keen to attract yachts from further afield.
The most high profile international entry this year will be Swiss sailor Francois Bopp Bosphorus Cup_Istanbul.
Bopp has a long history competing on Lake Geneva, but today is mostly based in Burgas in Bulgaria, from where he runs his Chocolate Racing Team (named after a brand of cigar he imports from the Dominican Republic).
This year Bopp has entered two yachts in the Bosphorus Cup, his regular Farr 40 Chocolate 2 plus the Farr 52 One design Chocolate 3 (ex-Optimum 3 – see photo below) he acquired just prior to the Rolex Middle Sea Race two years ago.
The reason he is entering two yachts this year is commercial: “I am buying a company in Turkey which makes shoulder implants (because I work in orthopaedics). I am just finalising the majority purchase of this company so we will have big ads on the sails. I will sail with 10 people, including four or five surgeons that I will invite.”
Meanwhile the Farr 40 will be raced by a friend.
Organiser Orhan Gorbon, a former pro sailor and Admiral’s Cup competitor, commented of this year’s Bosphorus Cup: “We are looking forward to this latest edition of the Bosphorus Cup and welcoming our competitors. For international sailors the Bosphorus Cup provides a unique opportunity to enjoy strong competition in a unique venue, on waters with which they will be unfamiliar while being close to the centre of our remarkable city and all it has to offer.”